The Exchange Club of Jacksonville honored Megan Zimmerly, 27, with its Random Act of Kindness Award on Oct. 26, just weeks after she rescued a woman who had jumped into the St. Johns River. The humanitarian award was given in recognition of her exceptional display of community service, which is the cornerstone of the Exchange Club’s programs of service.
The Exchange Club presented the award during its weekly luncheon at River City Brewing Company where Zimmerly accepted the award and spoke briefly about her life-saving experience.
Zimmerly said she was honored, but also shocked, at the news she would be receiving an award from The Exchange Club for her efforts.
“I feel blessed that I was in the right place at the right time to help the woman,” said Zimmerly.
“I am flattered to receive the award, but any kind of goodness or positivity that we can help spread among the people in our community…I’m just happy to be able to contribute.”
The award-winning Exchange Club of Jacksonville seeks to make our city a better place to live through the support of four primary programs of service: Americanism, child abuse prevention, community service projects and youth programs and scholarships. George Mann, president of the Exchange Club of Jacksonville, said the organization felt the need to recognize Megan for her actions, because they align so closely with the Exchange Club’s own ideals of community service and Americanism.
“When I first read about Megan’s selfless actions, I was immediately impressed by the example she set for what is right about our city and country,” said Mann.
“Megan is a person willing to take action in order to help, rather than stand idly by or even ignore their fellow man, a person willing to put the needs of a complete stranger above herself.”
“A few people had just passed by,” said Zimmerly. “I could tell she was struggling and I felt inclined to help. I think a lot of people don’t know how to help, but because of my nursing background, I felt I had the resources.”
Zimmerly will continue her good works in the Intensive Care Unit at Florida Hospital in Orlando, where she recently accepted a full-time position.